10 steps to successful breastfeeding

NMC Royal Women’s Hospital encourages, promotes, and supports breastfeeding by implementing the 10 steps of the WHO and UNICEF.

Critical management procedures

  • Comply fully with the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk substitutes and relevant World Health Assembly resolutions
  • Have a written infant feeding policy that shall be routinely communicated and visible to all staff and parents in NMC Royal Women’s Hospital.
  • Establish ongoing monitoring and data-management systems Integrate recording and monitoring of the clinical practices related to breastfeeding into ourquality improvement/monitoring system.

Step 2: Ensure that staff have sufficient knowledge, competence, and skills to support breastfeeding

  • All new NMC Royal Women’s Hospital staff (clinical and non-clinical) will receive orientation regarding baby friendly policy.
  • All health care staff who provide infant feeding services, including breastfeeding support, should have sufficient knowledge, competence and skills to support women to breastfeed.

Key clinical practices

Step 3: Discuss the importance of management of breastfeeding with pregnant women and their families

  • All associated clinical staff shall be responsible to educate pregnant women and their support person (if available).

Step 4: Facilitate immediate and uninterrupted skin to skin contact and support mothers to initiate breastfeeding as soon as possible after birth

  • Encourage all mothers to place their baby in skin to skin contact immediately after birth for at least 60 minutes and/or until complete the first feeding unless contraindicated for medical reasons.

Step 5: Support mothers to initiate and maintain breastfeeding and manage common difficulties

  • All breastfeeding mothers shall receive practical support to enable them to initiate and maintain breastfeeding and demonstrate good positioning and attachment at the breast within 6 hours after birth.
  • Help mothers with common breastfeeding problems and educate them on ways to facilitate milk production, evidence on baby consuming enough breast milk and how to express breast milk.

Step 6: Do not provide breastfed newborns any food or fluids other than breastmilk, unless medically indicated

  • Mothers should be discouraged from giving any food or fluids other than breast milk unless medically indicated, with the reasons clearly documented in the medical record.

Step 7: Enable mothers and their infants to remain together and to practice rooming in 24hours a day

  • Mothers and their infants are to remain together and to practice rooming in 24hours a day unless a justifiable reason for separation is advised and documented.

Step 8: Support mothers to recognize and respond to their infants’ cues for feeding

  • Support mothers to recognize and respond to their infant’s cues for feeding, with no restriction on the length or frequency of feeds.

Step 9: Counsel mothers on the use and risks of feeding bottles, teats and pacifiers

  • Artificial teats, bottles or pacifiers shall not be given to breastfeeding babies unless medically indicated with reasons documented in the medical record, except if parental choice.

Step 10: Coordinate discharge so that parents and their infants have timely access to ongoing support and care

  • All discharged Mothers have been informed where they can access breastfeeding support.